Working with Metal
Blacksmithing has nearly become one of the lost arts, but there is a modern revival of it today. While it has enjoyed centuries as an important craft, modern blacksmiths are recognized for their art more than the commonplace items their forerunners created. Items such as horseshoes used to be primarily a practical item, but they have now been combined with other items into works of art by those who have mastered the art of heating metal and shaping it into many different forms.
Few blacksmiths in the past were more than craftsmen, but there have always been those who stood out in front of the group. Smiths who mastered sword making could become known over a large area, and important customers would seek out their services. Their work was preserved by many families after the sword owner passed on, and they now hang on walls in ancestral homes and museums.
Everyday objects are an important part of the craft of blacksmithing, and horseshoes and iron pieces for wagons were once the most important parts of the craft. There is little use for many of these items in the modern world, and it frees up the time of the smiths who make them. They now have the option to use their skills to create art objects, and many of them have taken advantage of their time to experiment with their artistic abilities. They have begun to create metal sculptures and art pieces that appeal to a variety of people.
Metal sculptures come in many sizes and shapes, but they are heavy due to the metal content and are usually commissioned. Most smiths now have experience in working with many different metals, and modern forges have helped them create art that attracts attention from serious collectors. Their art, now that it is recognized, is finally beginning to be appreciated.